Millikin University students experienced global citizenship by attending the 23rd annual American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference held Nov. 17-20 in Chicago, Ill. Students from around the country and globally participated in the AMUN Conference to experience and create resolutions to solve world problems such as food security, biological weapons, literacy, and natural disaster relief.
Millikin students participated as delegates for the countries of Norway and Costa Rica at the 2012 AMUN Conference.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for students to blend through the research they had done in the Model United Nations class in order to better prepare and communicate from the perspective of the country they were representing,” remarked Dr. Bobbi Gentry, Assistant Professor of Political Science. “The students were able to address the issues and solve global problems.”
American Model United Nations is a non-profit, educational organization that provides students with the highest quality, most professionally run simulation of the United Nations available. AMUN strives to combine educational quality with highly realistic simulations of the United Nations to give students an unparalleled Model UN learning experience.
“Participating at the 2012 AMUN Conference was a challenging and rewarding experience,” remarked Millikin junior Emma Prendergast. “My perspective on global issues has been greatly expanded, as well as my knowledge of how the United Nations works. I look forward to being involved in future conferences.”
Students at the 2012 AMUN Conference wrote position papers from their country’s perspective explaining how the country would work to solve an issue. Students then worked on writing resolutions similar to how the United Nations itself would create. Students also worked on caucusing with other students from around the world to develop ideas for resolutions. After working on these resolutions the students presented their results to the body of the conference, and engaged in points of inquiry.
“It’s all about following parliamentary procedure and diplomatic courtesy, and being able to engage in discussion about solving global issues,” remarked Gentry. “Specific issues that were topics of discussion were landmines that are currently around the globe, food security and economic development.”
The American Model United Nations is currently run by a specific staff of professionals who have AMUN experience, and 19 Millikin students attended the conference in November. Millikin students prepared for the conference in class by researching on the structure of the United Nations and parliamentary procedure. Students also had the opportunity to be involved with a club component that helped them learn more about the experience.
“All of the students engaged in discussions that were important toward their country’s point of view,” remarked Gentry. “Since we were representing Costa Rica and Norway, the South American voting block was a topic of discussion as well as Norway’s work with the European Union. I saw students do points of order, points of inquiry, and give speeches about the country’s point of view and how to solve a specific global issue.”
Millikin University will be representing France at next year’s AMUN Conference, which puts Millikin on the Historical Permanent Security Council. This opportunity will allow Millikin students to learn more about the historical aspect of the United Nations and it puts the students in a leadership role at the conference.
“It is an amazing performance-learning opportunity,” remarked Gentry. “One of the big things we work on in the class is being able to speak in front of others, to be able to articulate an argument, and to do it convincingly. Students are able to communicate all that information with others and develop ideas about solving problems. It puts students in a simulation format that helps them bridge that knowledge-base into practical answers for global issues.”
“Model United Nations is open to students of any major and that brings different perspectives and it really compliments the class,” remarked Gentry. “This is a fantastic opportunity to role-play and to really practice those skills we already teach at Millikin. There’s a variety of ways students can engage in this class from their disciplinary perspective and it gives a unique perspective for the conference as a whole.”